Watch a short video clip of Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg, who has inspired youth around the world to think about their energy choices and take action for climate change. Your students will then design and create a poster to inspire climate action.
Most scientists agree that the rise in Earth’s temperature over the past 100 years is mainly caused by greenhouse gases released from the burning of fossil fuels. The greenhouse effect is a natural process, keeping the Earth warm enough for life to exist. Greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, including carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and water vapour, trap heat from the sun. The atmosphere acts like the glass in a greenhouse.
We use energy in our daily lives in many ways. We use it to get to school, power our lights, cook our food and heat our homes. Energy is used to make and transport goods and materials. Some of our energy comes from the sun, wind and water. Fossil fuels are another energy source, which, like fossils, come from ancient plants and animals. Burning fossil fuels releases greenhouse gases into the atmosphere which trap in more heat and warm the Earth.
The concept that everything in the environment and natural world is interconnected is foundational to First Peoples perspectives of land and place. It is understood that we have a responsibility to care for the land, plants and animals through everything we do and the choices we make. Our energy choices impact the environment and climate change when fossil fuels are burned and release greenhouse gases. When we use less energy, we reduce our impact on the environment and help care for the Earth now and for future generations. Every little action adds up to making a big difference.
Climate change affects local First Peoples in different ways in terms of changes to the land, plants, animals and traditional practices. Invite a Knowledge Keeper or Aboriginal elder to speak to the class about stewardship and caring for our resources to help students understand their community and place.
Choosing renewable energy sources helps reduce the impact of our energy use on the environment. In B.C., the vast majority of electricity is generated from water, a clean and renewable source. Non-renewable energy sources have a greater impact on the environment than renewable energy sources. Burning fossil fuels for energy releases greenhouse gases and carbon into the environment that had previously been trapped underground.